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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — In a gracious concession statement, Ilario Pantano has endorsed his political rival David Rouzer as the Republican challenges eight-time incumbent Democrat Rep. Mike McIntyre for his seat in Congress.

“Friends, David Rouzer is our Republican Nominee for the 7th Congressional District,” Pantano wrote in an e-mail to his supporters. “I support him and I hope you will too.”

Rouzer beat Pantano by four percentage points, or about 2,800 votes, according to the state Board of Elections, in Tuesday’s Republican primary.

Pantano asked voters to “focus on the importance of a strong and unified conservative voice in defeating Barack Obama and I ask that you help David Rouzer in his effort to build a Republican firewall here in SE North Carolina.”

“We cannot afford the luxury of hurt feelings or disappointment,” Pantano wrote. “We were knocked down on May 8, but I ask that you get up and like me, brush yourself off and get back in the fight.”

In his message, Pantano looked to the example of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who made the difficult decision to surrender for the good of the country as a whole to heal instead of continuing to fight.

Pantano described this year’s election as “an ideological battle for the soul of our country.” He described McIntyre as President Obama’s “lieutenant here in SE North Carolina.” In addition to his endorsement of Rouzer, he encouraged voters to support Republican Pat McCrory and Mitt Romney in their campaigns for governor and president respectively. He said he has contributed money to each man’s campaign, and asked others to do the same.

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11 Comments on "Pantano endorses Rouzer"

2015 years 9 months ago

I am an independent voter and I don’t normally vote during the primaries. However the Constitutional Ban on Non-traditional Marriages brought me out. I voted for Rouser primarily because he seemed more likely to look out for the voters of his district.

guest Cathy
2015 years 9 months ago

I am very disappointed Ilario did not win the primary as I know he would have been an excellent District 7 Congressional Representative, i.e. a true leader who is focused and driven by values and the Constitution. I hope Mr. Rouzer will be half as good a representative as I know Mr. Pantano would have been. I will support Mr. Rouzer, but Mr. Pantano–you are truly a class act and I hope you continue the fight.

Guest Du Jour
2015 years 9 months ago

Good job Mr. Rouzer and good luck to you.

When will Pantano get it through his head we don’t want him here? The GOP thinks we’re a bunch of ignorant rednecks who will automatically vote for any ex-Marine wrapped in a flag that they just plant here at random.

Sorry, but go back to New York and put on your Yankee hat and try it somewhere else. You have no reason to be here other than trying to hoodwink your way on to the public payroll, time and time again. Enough times being told no, you hope he gets the message. Move along Pantano. We don’t need any more “professional politicians” here; we have plenty of those. We need people who know how to get things done for us.

2015 years 9 months ago

North Carolina was Pantano’s stepping stone to get the Washington. He had no interest in the people of NC. Thankfully, the people seen through this. A northern Republican is worse than a southern Democrat.

Patrick H. Senex
2015 years 9 months ago

This endorsement show the level of class, integrity, and character Ilario Pantano possesses and proves yet again what a great man he is. His words have swayed me to support Rouzer despite my disdain for the GOP establishment and all of their candidates. We must remain vigilant every day of this election and beyond to assure our elected officials serve the best interests of the people and not the political ruling class. I will vote for David Rouzer, and once he wins I will hold his feet to the fire just as I promised Pantano I would do to him had he won. The government works for us, and we must never let our elected representatives forget that.

2015 years 9 months ago

Pantano– consider his actions as a soldier–why would anyone consider voting for this character?

Guest 101
2015 years 9 months ago

Exactly! Well said.

So one more time for the SE NC GOP….we don’t want or need carpet-baggers representing the 7th district, especially somebody like IP. I still can’t belive this is the guy they pushed for TWICE!?

Thanks guys….Mike wins again dummys!

2015 years 9 months ago

agreed on all points. the marine thing is getting silly across the country. remember that rep. john murtha (the name makes me vomit a little) was a marine & he was one of the most corrupt & traitorous maggots to ever walk US soil.

Patrick H. Senex
2015 years 9 months ago

Being from Johnston county I can tell you it actually WAS a bunch of ignorant rednecks that chose to elect Rouzer, a career politician. Pantano won 8 of 12 counties, only losing drastically in Johnston where Rouzer is from. Having seen first hand how many people in Johnston county were not able to understand why David was not on their democrat ballot I can assure you that this race was decided by a bunch of people oblivious to how government works. Facts are stubborn things, and you may want to invest in a few before you attempt to form an opinion. Rouzer had the help of a good ol boy network the likes of which would make Bev Perdue and Barack Obama jealous. The GOP establishment would not give Pantano the courtesies a neutral party should allow all candidates of their primary but rather pushed Rouzer down the throats of those who recognized his name due to the fact…..there is that word again….the fact that Rouzer is a career politician. Rouzer is an establishment guy who plans to remain in office for eternity if possible. He is the epitome of what is wrong with party politics today. He may have my vote now, but it’s a vote I will cast with my head hung low and with sadness in my heart….all the while looking to 2014 when we can replace him. Choosing between him and McIntyre is like deciding if you want to step in dog crap or in horse crap….either way it’s gonna stink, but one is easier to clean up after than the other.

Retired Navy
2015 years 9 months ago

When and where is it? I’d buy a bunch of tickets to see this weasel whine. The past few weeks I counted no fewer than 135 “Pantano for Congress” signs along the highway on my commute home from work. Last night I grabbed one as a trophy. We independent voters were the ones who derailed Pantano’s absurd quest for a career in politics. As for Rouzer, his TV ads proved he would have a hard time walking and chewing gum at the same time. This Neo-Confederate really thinks people will endorse a protege of the racist scumbag Jesse Helms? He has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected to Congress. Hey, Dave, we didn’t vote FOR you, we voted AGAINST the sociopath war criminal Pantano!

IP Supporter
2015 years 9 months ago


Those of us who know Ilario knew he just needed a day to process the election results. Why don’t you do yourself a favor with your credibilty as a news organization and not jump the gun next time?


“nuff said!


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